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911 Dispatchers…When chaos comes calling, they answer

When Angela Kramer heard breaking glass, followed by screams and then gunshots about 3 a.m. March 2, 2010, she took cover in a closet of her family’s Darien home and called 911 — from her cellphone.

The dispatcher who took that call stayed on the phone with Kramer for more than an hour.

“I debriefed that dispatcher,” said Jeanine Chiappano, executive director of the E-COM 9-1-1 Dispatch Center in the south suburbs and a peer stress debriefer. “After that call, the dispatcher had been having difficulties — throwing up and calling in sick. She just needed to talk about it, to get some closure.”

The Darien case — Johnny Borizov recently received three life sentences for orchestrating the murders of Angela’s parents and younger brother — illustrates two important points: how critical the role of call takers and dispatchers is, and how much a more advanced emergency call system is needed.

Chiappano said E-COM, which serves Flossmoor, Glenwood, Homewood, Hazel Crest, Riverdale and South Holland, will be installing a new VIPER system in the next few months, in preparation for the state’s rollout of Next Generation 9-1-1 technology… Please click here to read Donna Vickroy’s full story in the Southtown Star.

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